Getting Windows 7 Update error 80248015? You are not alone

If you run a device that is powered by Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, you may have noticed already, or not, that the system's update functionality may be broken completely.

A check for updates returns the error message "Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer".  The error 80248015 is displayed, but anything you try to resolve the issue on your end fails.

A restart does not resolve the issue, and the error may be thrown even if you downloaded updates just fine the other day.

A thread on Microsoft's Answers forum indicates that the issue is widespread. It is unclear if all Windows 7 systems are affected by the issue, or if only a subset of systems are affected.

windows 7 update error 80248015

Woody on Computerworld suggests that Microsoft broke updating on Windows 7. He suggests, based on a user report on his Ask Woody website, that Microsoft may have missed updating the Expiry Date of a file, and that this may be the cause for the update issues.

The file is authorization.xml, which you find in c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\AuthCabs\authcab.cab.

Apparently, changing the system's date to one that is older than 03.12.2017 fixes the issue temporarily, but the only other option that Windows 7 users appear to have at this point is to wait for Microsoft to publish an update that corrects the issue.

Update: Günter Born discovered that disabling "Give me updates for Microsoft products and check for new optional Microsoft software when I update Windows" in the update settings fixed the issue on his end. You may want to try this to see if it resolves the issue for you as well.

Read also:  Microsoft confirms Epson Printer bug caused by November 2017 updates

This is not the first time that Windows users get hit with the Microsoft Update error 80248015. It happened three years ago in November 2014 to Windows XP and Server 2003 customers who could not use Windows Updates anymore either.

Back then, only some machines were affected by the issue while others had a different expiry date so that updating worked fine on those.

A search on the Internet returns multiple references to the Windows Update error 80248015, some of which dating back nearly a decade. While the error may be caused by system administrators disabling Windows Update functionality, this is apparently not the case for the current issue.

Closing Words

It is not really flattering for a company like Microsoft if errors like 80248015 happen frequently. Windows 7 is still supported, and it seems amateurish if the issue is indeed caused by Microsoft forgetting to update a file on the system.

To be fair, we don't know if the file is causing the issue, but it is clear that its expiry date coincides with the beginning of the issue.

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Getting Windows 7 Update error 80248015? You are not alone
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If you run a device that is powered by Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, you may have noticed already, or not, that the system's update functionality may be broken completely.
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Responses to Getting Windows 7 Update error 80248015? You are not alone

  1. Hard Right December 4, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

    Wonder how the HindooSoft fanboyz will explain this?

    • DVF December 4, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

      When I changed system date to earlier than 3/12/2017 now get new Windows Update error 80072F8F indicating system clock needs synchronizing.

      • Anonymous December 4, 2017 at 9:06 pm #

        I changed date the 01/12/2017 and it worked , the 3 dec is the expiring date

    • Manuel December 5, 2017 at 11:23 am #

      It's not a bug, it's a feature to simplify your decision to upgrade to Windows 10 for *FREE*

  2. Paul Frank December 4, 2017 at 7:25 pm #

    My windows 7 update did the same thing. Now it just shows a blank white screen when I go to update.

    • Sophie December 4, 2017 at 8:26 pm #

      Microsoft are now so staggggggeringly inept. It is so shameful, and I have not got words for what they have become. I work in software development, and I test everything so deeply and thoroughly. What's to blame? Why has it got so bad? Do they just not care at all any more?

    • Liam December 15, 2017 at 1:49 am #

      That happened to me too.

  3. Günter Born December 4, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

    @Martin: a better workaround will be to uncheck optional updates for Microsoft components, as I described within my blog post: http://borncity.com/win/2017/12/04/windows7-error-0x80248015-in-update-search-dec-4-2017/

  4. Yuliya December 4, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

    This folder c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\AuthCabs\* is empty for me. My Win7 PC is up to date - Simplix UpdatePack7R2 FTW!!

  5. martial December 4, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

    3/12/2017 is the expiring date ,I changed 1/12/2017 and it worked

  6. dgreen December 4, 2017 at 9:13 pm #

    I used Gunter's workaround and it worked perfectly. I was able to update my MSE definitions. I also did 2 windows update checks and they both went smoothly.
    I also had changed my settings when this first started late yesterday afternoon to "never check" and I will leave it that way until this issue is resolved.
    I tried to post on askwoody's site but the site is having problems and I wasn't able to get in.
    I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit 2008 R2
    Just recently had a new hard drive installed and Windows 7 was reinstalled. (via Staples).

  7. sasa December 4, 2017 at 10:42 pm #

    I solved thanks to the blog of Gunter...thank you so much

  8. Mike Lynch December 4, 2017 at 10:51 pm #

    MS could be attempting to do to Windows-7 Users what they did they did to Vista Users, NO ACCESS TO UPDATES, regardless of the date!

  9. pHROZEN gHOST December 4, 2017 at 11:19 pm #

    As we approach the end of life, there are going to be Windows 7 and 8 hiccups as MS concentrates most of its effort on Windows 10. LIke any older product, (a '69 Olds Cutlass for example), don't expect the manufacturer to support it for ever.

    If you don't want to move up to Windows 10, move onto something else"

    various flavors of Linux
    DOS
    CP/M

    Or, why not give up on computers and stick to a cell phone. They seem to be where most people are these days.

    BTW ... Let's see how many horn-backed green trolls bite on this one.

    • Manuel December 5, 2017 at 11:30 am #

      "As we approach the end of life" Windows 7 is supposed to receive security updates and bugfixes till 14th January of 2020. That's still a lot of time to go.

      • pHROZEN gHOST December 5, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

        Manuel and others with similar sentiments,

        I do not work for MS. I am not a choirboy for MS. I don't really care what OS anyone else uses.

        I am terribly sorry that you cannot understand that we REALLY ARE approaching EOL on your personal choice of OS. MS is changing. Life is about change. That sucks. I am so very sorry that I'm a Can-EH!-dian.

        You don't have to migrate to Windows 10 like most of us. You do have options if you are willing to embrace change.

        1) Get rid of your computer and use your cell phone like many others.
        2) Migrate to OS/2, DOS or CP/M (needs a Z80 processor with at least 64KB of RAM)

        Have a nice day eh!

  10. AK December 4, 2017 at 11:21 pm #

    W7 64-Bit & W7 32-Bit.

    WU Jammed on Red ?

    Make a note of your 'Change Settings', settings.

    Change Settings to : 'Never Check For Updates'.
    Remove 'X's' from all the boxes below. 'OK'.
    'Check For Updates' : Working Again.

    Change Settings back to : Your Customization.
    'Check For Updates' : Still Working.
    Well worth a punt.

    AK

    • Brian December 10, 2017 at 2:40 pm #

      Thanks worked for me.Brian.

    • AB December 14, 2017 at 9:15 pm #

      It worked perfectly for me too. Thanks AK !

  11. martial December 4, 2017 at 11:33 pm #

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r-h5CMJp_A

  12. Mola Ram, CEO Microsoft December 5, 2017 at 2:28 am #

    I haven't updated Windows in 3 years.

    • ilev December 5, 2017 at 4:43 pm #

      Same as I.

  13. dante December 5, 2017 at 2:32 am #

    It's their way of forcing upgrades. Notice your PC gets really really slow booting up after an update when Microshaft wants you to buy a new OS?

  14. Coriy December 5, 2017 at 2:45 am #

    Sorry, but Günter's workaround is a no go for me, and I suspect a lot of people.
    I don't have the entry for "Give Me Updates for Microsoft Products..." on my Windows 7 computer.
    Also I got a different error, 0x80070490, when I tried a Windows Update Diagnostic FixIt from MS.
    That one requires SFC /scannow as a possible repair.

    Also, I use Microsoft Security Essentials and its update capacity is unharmed by this M$nafu.
    Ah, the Life of a Windows User...

    P.S. I used the Dism++ program in an attempt to fix the error. It didn't work, but it freed a lot of cruft including 1.3 GB of file in the Software Update folder when it collapsed the DataStore.edb file.

    • Coriy December 5, 2017 at 2:56 am #

      I tried another (so that's two) old Windows Update repair from MS, and that did the trick along with the other attempts.
      So I have a leaner system and now have to tell update to NOT install optional updates that I once told it not to install.
      Ah, M$nafu...

  15. Stefan December 5, 2017 at 3:32 am #

    I use 'WSUS Offline installer' to do all updates and (if i am not mistaken) You can choose - ONLY SECURITY UPDATES via it as well as downloading the updates from Microsoft's Windows Catalog online.

    http://download.wsusoffline.net

    I have all Windows Update components disabled and also blocked via a 3rd party firewall and never let them go online.

  16. John December 5, 2017 at 6:57 am #

    Seems to be back up & running now

  17. Eien December 5, 2017 at 8:11 am #

    I guess I'm lucky then i don't have such problem.

  18. nik December 5, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    S A B O T A G E
    A
    B
    O
    T
    A
    G
    E

  19. Belga December 5, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    No error message for me, but the constant return of all hidden updates (important and optional) for a long time.
    This happens after I have made each "security update only" downloaded through Microsoft catalog.

  20. jmwoods December 5, 2017 at 10:23 am #

    I was able to fix it earlier by running the freeware tool Windows Update MiniTool.

    Didn't install any updates, just did a check, and closed the program when it was done.

    Was then able to open and use Windows Update.

    The expiration date in authorization.xml was bumped up to 2025.

    2025-07-01T00:00:00.0000000-00:00

  21. Ben December 5, 2017 at 11:38 am #

    This worked for me . It is tested on one PC (Windows 7 Ultimate).
    You can find this information on many internet sites and you can do it in different ways.

    Open Command Prompt in elevated mode.
    1. Stop Automatic Update Service: Net stop wuauserv
    2. Find Windows\SoftwareDistribution\
    3. Rename SoftwareDistribution
    4. Start Automatic Update Service: Net start wuauserv
    5. That's it.

    This morning I had no problems and I could run updates again.

    • JimV December 5, 2017 at 9:52 pm #

      Yep...that's the tried-and-true approach that worked for my Win7Ult desktop that started that wonky WU behavior on Monday. Only problem is losing all of the archived WU database entries, but c'est la vie...

  22. Lynne December 5, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

    I tried numerous solutions to this problem on and off all day. I found this website and tried Gunter’s fix. All I did was uncheck the optional update box on the windows update screen. It worked! Windows update searched, downloaded, installed in less than 10 minutes. So easy. Thank you.

  23. Mike J. December 5, 2017 at 3:53 pm #

    I don't mess with updates either.

  24. Mike J. December 5, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

    I don't bother with updates either.

  25. jasray December 5, 2017 at 5:16 pm #

    Interesting--if I install Classic Shell on Windows 7, flip-flap with a Rainmeter "clock" skin, and use MUT, WSUS, and Simplex, all my problems disappear.

    Third party tools! Miracles!

  26. Laurent G December 5, 2017 at 5:27 pm #

    Hi all,

    I had the issue. Not error 80248015, but unable to search for updates ("Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer")
    I tried to stop then restart the WinUpdate service => no result.

    Then I set, a proposed by some, the date to December 1st, and forced search for updates.
    Worked fine.

    Then I reset back the system date to today, December 5th. And have been able to search again for updates.
    Issue "seems" to be cleared by these operations.... at least in my own case.

  27. James D December 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm #

    Why do people use shty windows update instead of prepacked Simplix Update packs is above me. I get that average Joe doesn't know anything but people who visit such forums and read such articles should have already do an analythics search about how to optimize windows 7.

    • Lynne December 5, 2017 at 10:22 pm #

      I guess we are just not too smart, James. By the way, the term is 'beyond me' not 'above me'.

      • jasray December 5, 2017 at 10:44 pm #

        No, I take it to mean "above me" meaning everyone else knows something James doesn't know. Everyone is "above" and "beyond" him in knowledge and understanding--even though he doesn't seem to have any problems with updates like the other sudo-masters have [or is that pseudo]. In other words, it's easier to complain [except in the case of Classic Shell] about Windows rather than use a third party program and move one with life [or is that on]. One is All and All is One.

        Maybe MS is having problems with the structural dynamics of flow?

        Naturally, anyone using Linux, as a few have indicated, don't have problems with program updates or system updates or ransomware or . . . .

      • Lynne December 5, 2017 at 11:42 pm #

        Thank you Jasray, I stand corrected. I admitted I'm not too smart.

  28. Julian Alarcon December 5, 2017 at 8:45 pm #

    Same issue in Windows Server 2008

  29. iwk December 5, 2017 at 9:12 pm #

    It seems problem is bigger. My USB 3.0 devices stops working (including keyboard and mouse!) and Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller shows error “Windows cannot verify the digital signature for the drivers required for this device“. Error 52. After booting with F8 and Disable driver signature enforcement it works...until reboot. Some permanent fix?

  30. Ben December 6, 2017 at 4:03 am #

    I had the issue on Dec 4, but on Dec 5, my Windows 7 notified me that updates were available (only for Excel). I downloaded it and installed it through Windows Updates without issues.

  31. Joseph December 6, 2017 at 9:39 pm #

    I noticed that my MSE In Vista Home stopped updating at that date (the 3rd). So after a lot of difficulty i was able to change the expiry date to the 1st .MSE updated immediately after that. Tried to update Vista (and the expiry date changed to 7 /2021. So if your security essentials wont update ,you know what to do. Change the date, save the file authorization.xml as all files /.xml. Update MSE then try to update Vista.(MS just came out with a statement that said the date will correct itself in the authorization.xml when you try to update. (remember to stop windows update at cmd line- net stop wuauserv - after you save it then - net start wuauserv to start it.

  32. DGC December 6, 2017 at 11:11 pm #

    The Problem affects ALL WIN-7 Machines. The Problem is definitely tied to the authorization.xml file. The update when it becomes available shows an issue date of 2017-12-01 and an expiration date of 2025-07-01. Do not know what other files may be affected, but the above file is definitely part of the problem. Once again THANK YOU M$ for being such a bunch of aholes.

  33. rChaz December 7, 2017 at 9:23 am #

    Thanks AK! That also worked for me. I wasn't initially showing the option "Give me updates for Microsoft products and check"..., nor did I have the option to "Show me detailed notifications when new Microsoft software is available"..., so I couldn't use Günter's workaround.

    After resetting to "Never check for updates", OK, then reset back to my original "let me choose", everything was working again, and I also had the additional 2 options above restored.

  34. TonyCzar December 7, 2017 at 8:19 pm #

    Eventually, my Windows Update window just went blank white. After reinstalling Windows Update at-

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49540

    ... at least I was able to see the error message again.

  35. DGC December 7, 2017 at 9:00 pm #

    M$ has still not pushed a FIX for this. Here is a FIX THAT DEFINITELY WORKS on ALL WIN-7 Machines.
    Change the System Date (change date and time) to 11/30/17. Reboot the P/C or Laptop. In control panel go to Windows Update and check for updates. Install all updates listed (optional updates excluded). Restart the P/C or Laptop, and once again check for updates. When it says Windows is up to date, change the system date back to the current date. VOILA, problem corrected. If you open the authorization.xml file, in the AUTHCABS folder, you will now notice the ExpiryDate 2025-07-01. This fix has worked on ALL WIN-7 Machines I have used it on. Happy fixing :)

  36. A different Martin December 7, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Hey, Martin --- I wouldn't mind seeing an article comparing WSUS Offline Update with Simplix, KUC, and any other third-party Windows updaters out there. The native Windows Update function has screwed up (and screwed users) often enough in the past couple of years that interest in third-party solutions has probably gone up considerably. I'm reasonably happy with WSUS Offline Update (which I learned about from you), but when commenters I respect tout, for example, Simplix, it piques my curiosity.

  37. snb December 15, 2017 at 6:30 pm #

    1. Disable Microsoft Update.
    2. Reboot system (!)
    3. Scan and install updates from Windows Update.
    4. Reboot system.
    # now authcab expiration has been updated to year 2025.
    5. Enable back Microsoft Update.
    6. Scan for updates.
    # voila, everybody happy.

    Credits to "DGC" (https://www.ghacks.net/2017/12/04/getting-windows-7-update-error-80248015-you-are-not-alone/#comment-4304303), his idea is functional too.

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